The Tuesday Playlist: High Times on Justified, New Girl; Splash or Belly Flop?
Timothy Olyphant, Jim Beaver, Erica Tazel | Photo Credits: Prashant Gupta/FX
How long has the Justified fan waited for someone to ask this question to Boyd Crowder: "Where did you get all of those teeth?" You'll likely be grinning yourself, while cringing at the edge of your seat, as the pleasures just keep multiplying — a high-octane Justified highball of great banter, tremendous suspense, clever twists and reversals — in a harrowing, hilarious and fantastically entertaining episode, so eventful you might mistake it for a season finale, but thankfully there are still two more episodes to go (Tuesday, 10/9c, FX) in this terrific fourth season.
It has all been building to this violent showdown between the forces of good (the U.S. marshals) and evil (everyone else, from Boyd's crew to an army of thugs and snipers representing the Detroit mob). The target is Drew Thompson (the great Jim Beaver), a 30-year fugitive in sheriff's clothing, currently in the marshals' custody, although they feel like sitting ducks, outnumbered and outgunned in Harlan as they calculate several desperate escape maneuvers while awaiting rescue. The episode, written by exec producer Graham Yost and Chris Provenzano, is titled "Decoy," and revolves around a series of standoffs, confrontations and subterfuges that leave few unscathed and unbloodied. Special props to Patton Oswalt as the loyal and lovably resilient Constable Bob, who even Raylan has to admit is a "tough son-of-a-bitch" by the time the dust settles, following a tense encounter outside a (metaphorically apt) high-school principal's office.
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GIRL TALK: What a difference a kiss makes. Ever since Fox's New Girl went there, exploding the mutual but awkward attraction between roomies Jess and Nick with a smooch that has turned the apartment into (Schmidt's words) "a den of sexual tension and lies," the show has been on comic fire. This week (9/8c), the fallout escalates into a slapsticky riot of loopy seduction and bad timing, as Jess (an inspired Zooey Deschanel) decides she knows what this girl wants, just as the easily distracted Nick (Jake Johnson) falls prey to his amorous new boss at the bar (Odette Annable). "I know this is not going to end well, but the whole middle part is going to be awesome," he brags to his buds — though not to Jess, who forces a giddy epiphany when on pain meds. In a storyline that for at least the third episode in a row reveals a weird obsession with urination jokes, Schmidt (the peerless Max Greenfield) becomes fixated on possessing an exotic tropical fish as a way of getting over Cece's (Hannah Simone) recent betrothal. "Why can't I have the things that I want?" he laments. Something tells me this particular rom-com subplot is far from over.
SEEING RED: TV's most popular franchise is once again cloning itself. Just as NCIS spun off from JAG and NCIS: LA was borne from its mothership, the next two episodes of CBS' NCIS: LA (9/8c) will serve as a launching pad for a potential new NCIS spinoff, this time focused less on a locale than on a roving "Red" team, a mobile unit of investigators (led by John Corbett and Kim Raver) who solve crimes all around the country. NCIS: USA? Or, more likely, NCIS: Red, which means future spinoffs can borrow from the rest of the color spectrum, promising (or is that threatening) an entire rainbow of NCIS offshoots. The "Red" agents are introduced in a case that teams them with Callen and Sam when a murder weapon is found in Idaho that connects to an incident back in L.A. ... Over at NCIS (8/7c), Michael Weatherly directs an episode involving a K-9 bomb-detection unit in Afghanistan.